Summer Vision Fast
Fri, Jun 10 | Forest Service Permitted area

Summer Vision Fast

Time & Location

Jun 10, 2022, 10:00 AM MDT – Jun 19, 2022, 2:00 PM MDT
Forest Service Permitted area, Saguache, Colorado

About The Event

Inevitable transitions are present at many thresholds along one’s journey through life, such as diurnal and seasonal shifts, coming of age, personal or global crisis, relational changes, peak moments, elderhood, adoption, menstruation, birth, and death, to name a few. To sustain the vitality and balance of an individual and the community, indigenous cultures around the world practiced an interconnected form of psychology which focused on guiding individuals or a group through the transition (Foster, 1998). One of the primary ways that individuals were guided was through rites of passage. Rites of passage opened the individual in transition to transformative experiences, making one’s life transition clear and capable of integrating the medicine and generating movement (Bridges, 1980); moreover, the rites were considered a sanction of the vitality of imagination that “enriched the individual and collective body, psyche, mind, and spirit” (Foster, 1998, p. 105). In short, a life transition implies a death and a rebirth: the death of aspects of the old and the birth of the not yet known. This practice of living and dying serves as a creative muse, a constant reminder of the delicate nature of reality and has the potential to alter consciousness. One approach for reconstituting rites of passage in a modern framework to restore the therapeutic and transformative effects within individually and collectively is with a wilderness rites approach, also known as a vision fast (Foster, 1998). (Bishop, C., 2019).

Just as nature moves according to its inborn death and rebirth pattern, so does the Rite of Passage ceremony. Deeply tuned in to these cycles of nature, ancient and indigenous societies around the world have created rituals of initiation to mark, celebrate, and make sense of the great mysteries of life, death, and rebirth. Initiatory rites are as old as human society, and although the primary rite of passage is marking a transition from childhood to adulthood, we go through various transitions through every stage of life; every year brings forward new transitions.  By enacting rites of passages, we continually imitate the death and rebirth patterns of nature. Anthropologist, Arnold Van Gennep, after studying ancient cultures worldwide, identified an archetypal stages of transition that permeate most rites of passage: severance, threshold, incorporation. Although a rite of passage may take years to complete, this 10-day ceremony with  a pivotal threshold of a 4 day and 4 night fast offers a strong and meaningful way to support transitions. 

The vision fast candidate is guided through three phases of this pattern: severance (severing from the old [days 1–3]), threshold (crossing into the liminal space/this is also the stage where the candidate fasts on the land for 4 days and nights [days 4–8]), incorporation (taking on the body, & returning back to the community with your gifts [days 8–10]).

Investment: 

sliding scale of $675–1350 

Deposit: $250 (included in final sliding scale tuition)

What’s included:

· A deep soul-centered self-generated ceremony with the natural world guided by two trained wilderness rite of passage guides (Colleen Bishop, Thompson Bishop)

· Ten-day rite-of-passage ceremony

· A variety of Council formats including introduction, intent, story-sharing with mirroring, incorporation, and others.

· Teachings of the Four Shields of Human Nature (Foster & Little, 1999)

· Professional gear/packing list to prepare for your journey

· Optional preparation call with one of the guides

· Storytelling & mirroring

· Guidance for intent and marking your rite of passage

· One or more guide(s) available at basecamp at all times and hold a container for you during your solo time

· Outdoor education skills for navigating the wilderness alone

· Guidance for incorporating your gifts back into the community

· Prepared food/meal upon arriving back to basecamp after your fast

· Permits & logistics arranged for camping accommodations for 10 days/9 nights

What’s not included:

· We invite all participants to engage in radical self-care: food, equipment, and all material support are not included

· Transportation to and from the site is not included (possibility to carpool)

·  Guide + car-pool driver gratuity (suggested 20%)

· Travel/Cancellation insurance

· Anything else not listed under “what’s included”

Journey:

Days 1-3: These first four days consist of a metaphorical and literal severance from your life as you know it. Day 1 will be taken up with finding your camping spot at basecamp, introductions, a teaching of the four shields of human nature. Days 2 and 3 are taken up with an intent circle, followed by finding your spot for your solo time and bringing your water to it, outdoor-education skills, and time deepening with the community of fasters and guides.

Days 4 – morning of day 8: At sunrise on the fourth day together, you and your fellow fasters will be ushered through a threshold circle to begin your 4-days and 4-nights vision fast.

Days 8—10: On the fifth morning of your vision fast (day 8 of our time together), you will shoulder your pack and return back to basecamp to be greeted and welcomed by your community. This day consists of coming into your body with options for food, movement, showering, returning back to your campsite, and unpacking from your fast. The following days will be taken up with story-telling, and guidance for incorporating your gifts back into the community.

Please note: While the structure of the days will remain in-tact with your vision fast on days 4-8, some of the contents are subject to change depending on the location of the site.

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